Fantasy Football: Who to draft at quarterback

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Jan 11, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers before the 2014 NFC Divisional playoff football game against the Dallas Cowboys at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The “Core Four” 

There are about four quarterbacks that you should consider within the first 2-4 rounds of your draft (in 10 and 12 team leagues):

  1. Aaron Rodgers
  2. Andrew Luck
  3. Russell Wilson
  4. Peyton Manning

These four (listed in order of where the should be taken) are all safe bets for your team in 2015 to be stars. Rodgers and Luck will be the first two quarterbacks taken in just about every draft, because of their skill set, offense, and overall production.

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Rodgers: he’s finished with a passer rating above 100 each of the last six seasons, and last season had eight games in which he threw 3+ touchdowns and no interceptions  – I honestly couldn’t do that in a video game. He’s easily the best decision maker in football, never throwing more than 13 interceptions in a season, and hasn’t reached double digits in that category since 2010. He’s a lock for success, and can expected to be taken anywhere from the 15th overall pick to the 25th overall pick in any draft.

Luck: He’s a little less proven than Rodgers, but after a breakout 2015 season, Andrew Luck has without question proven his worth as an elite fantasy quarterback. Luck’s fantasy value has a lot to do with not only with his skill set, but his opportunities. Last year, he had eight games where he attempted 40 or more passes, and four games of 4+ touchdowns. He can improve on limiting turnovers, but with Frank Gore now in Indianapolis, he should have some semblance of a run game, which is something he didn’t have last season. He will go after Rodgers somewhere in the 20-30 pick area.

Wilson: Russell leapfrogs names like Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, and others for many reasons. One, the trade for Jimmy Graham meant more than just trying to acquire his freakish ability. Seattle originally was cautious in extending Wilson and I think it had a lot to do with his running style not lasting long-term. Wilson ran the ball more than any other quarterback last season, which also gives him another fantasy dimension. But, I firmly believe the team brought in Graham to be a bit more pass oriented and keep Wilson from running as often as he did in 2014. Don’t get me wrong, Marshawn Lynch is still the heartbeat of that offense, but I do think there will be a stronger emphasis on the pass. A more pass-happy Wilson with the ability to make plays with his feet puts him in this elite group. He should be taken anywhere from pick 25-40.

Manning: Peyton was a first-round pick in some league’s last year, coming off the greatest statistical season we’ve ever seen from the quarterback position, but after a rough ending to his season – 3 touchdowns, 6 interceptions in the final 4 games – many are beginning to use his age as an excuse for poor performance. The colder months are when Peyton begins to tail off – check his postseason pedigree for evidence – but even in Gary Kubiak‘s new offense, which seems to be a bit more run oriented, Manning will still put up elite numbers. Actually, when he threw it less than 40 times, he was more productive. Posting an absurd 30/2 touchdown to interception ratio, and a 12-0 record. Less throws for Manning in Kubiak’s offense may actually mean more success. Personally, I think he’s being a bit undervalued, but I see him falling anywhere from 30-45 overall in any draft.

Where each of these quarterbacks get picked, you could probably find an elite wide receiver or maybe even a starting running back, but you also know you’re going to get consistent elite production weekly.

Next: The Second Tier